Business World

Tuesday 24 October 2017

Traders encouraged by Greek bills

Peter Flanagan

Peter Flanagan

IRISH shares rose yesterday, in line with the rest of Europe, as traders were encouraged by the Greek government passing its austerity bills.

By the close of trading, the ISEQ Overall Index was up 0.38pc, or 11.24 points, to close at 2,953.29.

The index rose early and stayed in a 20-point band for most of the day. A late sell-off cost the index a further five-point gain.

The big winner in percentage terms was Petroneft, which jumped 12.12pc to 37c.

CRH was the major stock with the biggest gain on the day. The construction giant added 2.97pc to close at €15.27 as the passing of austerity measures in Greece encouraged the belief that the global economic position could improve in the short term.

Paddy Power continued to appreciate, jumping 1.68pc to €37.49, after positive results from peer Bwin.Party.

On the other side of the board, Merrion Pharmaceuticals plunged 13.79pc after it agreed a $5m (€3.44m), three-and-a-half year debt financing with Hercules Technology Growth Capital. The loan will bear an onerous annual interest rate of 12.45pc.

Glanbia fell 1.44pc after the company warned it would take an exceptional charge of €8m in its first-half results but still expected to hit full-year guidance, while Greencore slumped to its lowest price in nearly two years, despite ongoing rumours of a possible takeover bid for the company.

Across Europe the passage of the Greek austerity bills buoyed the market, with the Stoxx 600 posting its biggest two-day gain in almost seven months.

National benchmark indices rose in every western European market. France's CAC 40 Index and the UK's FTSE 100 Index rose 1.5pc, while Germany's DAX Index gained 1.1pc. The Stoxx 600 added 1.1pc.

"The recent pullback provides a buying opportunity," said Robert Buckland, chief global equity strategist at Citigroup. "Despite a slowdown, we expect the economic and earnings recovery to be sustained."

LSE jumped 11pc, the highest price in three years, after the London and Toronto exchanges said they won't proceed with their friendly CAD$3.29bn (€2.34bn) merger because they didn't get the required shareholder support.

LSE's failed bid marks the third time in two months that one of the world's biggest equity venues failed to complete a deal aimed at restoring growth.

BG Group soared 4.7pc after the UK's third largest oil and gas producer doubled its estimate of reserves and resources in the Santos Basin in Brazil to about six billion barrels of oil equivalent net to the company.

Taylor Wimpey jumped 3.4pc after Britain's second biggest homebuilder by volume said its UK operation is headed for double-digit EBIT margin in 2012.

Irish Independent

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